Japanese Eyes vs Chinese Eyes: 10 Key Differences (Including Types of Eye Shapes)


China and Japan are very close to one another in terms of geography; and the race of both countries is very much similar. More importantly, throughout history, the two countries have a lot of bonds and commons. 

Both Chinese and Japanese are Asians and if you are really in need of understanding the difference between their eyes, the truth is, there is just a little difference. It’s also important to approach this topic with sensitivity and respect, as making generalizations about physical features can perpetuate stereotypes and be offensive.

For example, from the size of the eyes, you can easily tell that  the Chinese eyes are bigger than the Japanese eyes because the face of Chinese are a little longer while the face of Japanese are rounder. Also in regard to the shape of the eyes, if you look carefully, you are likely to realize that the eyes of Chinese are slant up while those of Japanese are slant down.

In regard to the eyelids, Japanese people have naturally single-edged eyelids with longer but smaller set of eyes; on the other hand, Chinese people always have double-edged or potential double-edged eyelids. Other than eyes, there are other factors that can be used to differentiate between Japanese and Chinese. Some of this factors include language, religion, food, culture, dialects, behavior, and fashion among many other things. Below get more details on the structural differences between Chinese and Japanese eyes.

Japanese Eyes vs Japanese Eyes: Key Differences

Here are some general observations that people have made regarding differences in eye features between some Japanese and Chinese individuals:

  • Epicanthal Fold: Some Chinese individuals may have a more pronounced epicanthal fold, which is a fold of skin that covers the inner corner of the eye, while this feature may be less prominent in some Japanese individuals.
  • Eye Shape: Chinese individuals may have a slightly wider range of eye shapes, including more almond-shaped eyes, whereas Japanese individuals may exhibit a relatively smaller range of eye shapes, often with a slight upward tilt at the outer corner.
  • Double Eyelids: Some Chinese people may have double eyelids (a crease above the eyelid), while others may have single eyelids (without a crease). In contrast, a higher percentage of Japanese people may have double eyelids.
  • Eyelid Crease: In individuals with double eyelids, the position and depth of the crease can vary. Some Chinese individuals may have a lower crease, while Japanese individuals with double eyelids may have a higher crease.
  • Eye Size: Eye size can also vary within both populations, with some individuals having larger or smaller eyes regardless of their ethnicity.
  • Eye Color: Both Chinese and Japanese populations predominantly have brown eyes, but there can be variation, and some individuals in both groups may have lighter eye colors.
  • Eye Pupil Shape: The shape of the pupil (round or slightly oval) does not significantly differ between Chinese and Japanese individuals.
  • Inner Eye Corner: The distance between the inner corners of the eyes is generally similar between Chinese and Japanese individuals, but it can vary widely among individuals.
  • Outer Eye Corner: Chinese individuals may have a slightly wider range of outer eye corner shapes, including variations in the degree of upward tilt.
  • Cultural Influence: Cultural factors, such as makeup and eyelid surgery, can influence the appearance of eyes. Both Chinese and Japanese individuals may use makeup techniques or undergo cosmetic procedures to achieve specific eye aesthetics.

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Japanese vs Chinese Eyes: Key Takeaways

Elements of Comparison   Japanese Eyes Chinese Eyes
Structure Japanese people have eyes which are round or oval in shape.   Chinese people have eyes which look slanted.  
Direction Their eyes are shaped or angled in the upward direction.   Their eyes are slanted or angled in the downward direction.  
Size They have eyes which are bigger in size and more evident in the face. This very much applicable to the women of Japan.   They have eyes which are smaller in size and less prominent.  
Facial and Eye prominence   They have a face which is longer and wider, and therefore the eyes look one of the main features of the face.   They have a round and smaller face, therefore the eyes look the least prominent feature.  
The main part which result in eye shape The main part which results in the eye shape for the Japanese is the area under the eyes.   The main part which results in the eye shape for the Chinese people is the area above the eyelids and under the eye the eyes.  
Facial Expression The facial expressions that result because of the eyes of Japanese people is that of a frown.   The facial expressions which are caused by the Chinese eyes are that of a smile.  
Eyes and Eyelid They have massive eyes with greater percentage of double eyelids.   They have mono-lids or small double eyelids.  

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Types of Eye Shapes

  • Almond Eyes: A person with almond-shaped eyes has an iris that touches the eyelid on both the bottom and the top. They have a visible crease on the lids and the ends of their eyes taper at the tear duct and the outer point. Almond eyes are wider than other shapes and have smaller eyelids.
  • Round Eyes: Round eyes have a circular shape with a visible white portion above and below the iris. This shape can make the eyes appear larger and more open.
  • Hooded Eyes: Hooded eyes have a fold of skin that droops over the crease, partially or entirely covering the eyelid when the eyes are open. This feature can give the appearance of a heavier or more closed eyelid.
  • Monolid Eyes: Monolid eyes lack a defined crease on the upper eyelid, giving them a smooth and flat appearance. They are common in some Asian populations.
  • Upturned Eyes: Upturned eyes have outer corners that turn upward, creating a subtle or pronounced upward slant. This shape can make the eyes appear more cat-like.
  • Downturned Eyes: Downturned eyes have outer corners that turn downward, creating a slightly sad or droopy appearance.
  • Deep-Set Eyes: Deep-set eyes are positioned deeper in the eye socket, which can create the illusion of more prominent brow bones. This eye shape often has a shadowed appearance.
  • Wide-Set Eyes: Wide-set eyes have a larger space between them, typically with more than one eye’s width of space. This feature can make the face appear wider.
  • Close-Set Eyes: Close-set eyes have a smaller space between them, often less than one eye’s width of space. This can create a more centralized appearance.
  • Prominent Eyes: Prominent eyes protrude slightly from the eye socket, giving them a more noticeable and rounded appearance.

What are monolid eyes?

Monolid eyes are also called epicanthal folds or epicanthic folds. An epicanthal fold describes an eyelid shape. If you have epicanthal folds, the skin of your upper eyelid is smooth from the inner corner of your eye to the part of your eyebrow nearest to your nose. It covers the innermost edge of your eyes.

Monolids can make your eyes look smaller because you don’t have creases or folds separating your eyelids into two sections. Monolids decrease the opening between your upper eyelids and lower eyelids.

Epicanthal folds are very common, especially in people of Asian descent. Monolids are also a common characteristic found in some genetic conditions, such as Down syndrome.

What’s the difference between monolids and double lids?

If you have double lids (double eyelids), you have arc-shaped creases between your eyelashes and eyebrows. Monolids don’t have these visible creases between the eyelashes and eyebrows.

Monolids aren’t the same thing as ptosis. Ptosis is an abnormality that causes drooping of your eyelid. It can impair your vision and is often cosmetically unappealing because it generally affects only one eye. Ptosis may need to be surgically corrected.